Fans of Levine’s A Tale of Two Castles...will be pleased to see their favorite dragon detective and her apprentice, Elodie, back for another adventure...Elodie is a strong-willed but kind girl whose assumptions are clearly made after the facts have been presented. Meenore brings quips and witticisms that lighten the mood of the novel and recall the charm of author’s classic Ella Enchanted...VERDICT There is plenty of adventure and mystery to engage readers, and fans of Levine’s other works will be pleased to see this in the collection.
School Library Journal
Twelve-year-old Elodie returns to her homeland with her companions Meenore (a sharp-witted dragon detective) and Count Jonty Um (a warmhearted, shape-shifting ogre). When the theft of a magical statue leads a nearby volcano to become active, they apply their varied talents to recovering the item and saving those who live nearby. Readers who warmed to these characters in A Tale of Two Castles...will enjoy this sequel even more. The writing is consistently engaging, and the story’s deliberate pace will encourage kids to observe the characters and solve the mystery before all is revealed. A satisfying mixture of fantasy, mystery, and adventure.
Booklist, February 19, 2015
...Elodie’s powers of inducing, deducing and using common sense are again put to work when she and detective dragon Meenore, her mentor and boss, along with their friend and assistant, shape-shifting ogre Count Jonty Um, travel to Elodie’s home island of Lahnt...There’s a mild, kindly tenor to this fantasy, which is also laced with gentle humor, intelligence, and whimsical inventiveness. Elodie’s powers of reasoning are on full display, as are the qualities of kindliness that make for a happy, stable community. Levine’s prose is clear and accessible, and her invented world, with its quirky inhabitants and distinctive vocabulary, is pleasantly unpredictable and nonthreatening even with a volcanic eruption in the offing.
The Horn Book, March/April 2015
Elodie takes the stage again as a mansioner (actor) and assistant detective when a mystery interrupts her homeward journey and imperils her friends in this sequel to A Tale of Two Castles...Levine still offers a detailed magical world, high-stakes action, and arch observations of family tensions and racial divides.
Kirkus, February 1, 2015